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Thursday, March 28, 2019

My Memorial Garden

I've crawled from the garden to share my quest of turning a large flower border into a memorial garden in memory of my dear father, my brother Chad, and my mother-in-law (Nana). Each of them were avid gardeners, and Nana gardened here before me. I don't have lovely images to share yet because the glorious cottage style garden I'm envisioning hasn't yet come to life. Mostly, I'm looking at bare earth I've labored days in, digging out wild aster roots that spread far and wide. Several roses already reside in this border, but were overwhelmed by asters and will grow more happily now that I've dug out bushel basketfuls of roots.

Hubby Dennis even brought in his tractor loader and we heaped it twice for him to haul away a giant pile of roots. Exhausting. Especially as I spent the winter in slug mode and have to get back into gardening shape.

 I've planted seven more roses, three of which I dug up and moved from other corners of the yard. The new ones I've added are from the wonderful English rose breeder David Austin and Jackson and Perkins, who always send me quality plants. Four more roses from J and P are coming to make twelve new additions. Roses are the star flower in my sentimental border, but planting and caring for them is a lot of work. They're worth it, though.

My garage is filling with boxes from plant companies, and more deliveries are assured. If I don't keep up with planting, I will be buried under them. It's possible I went a little crazy, but as my gardening hero, English gardener Monty Donn, says, If you're undertaking a big venture, go mad. Or words to that effect. And I have.

I'm including my favorite flowers, blue delphiniums, dianthus, peonies, foxgloves, coral bells, lilies, bellflowers, salvias, phlox, lavender, improved asters, poppies... Many old-fashioned herbs and flowers will fill this bed, interspersed with the roses. I've started sweet alyssum, violas, and forget-me-nots in my little green house that will be soon be planted. A solar angel (on the whimsical side) will go into the bed when there's more growth for her to watch over. Her wings are supposed to glow in the dark. I'm on the prowl for a solar fountain.

I've ordered special compost from Uncle Jim's Worm Farm for the flowers and daughter Elise gave me worms from Uncle Jim's so I can make my own. I've set up a little worm corner for them.

Dad's death, on top of my brother Chad's, hit me hard, and my father and mother-in-law died on either side of Dad. I know they're all in a better place, but it's still very difficult. I'm battling anxiety and depression. Writing is a struggle. But creating this memorial garden brings me comfort. There is much healing to be found digging in the earth.

One of the gardening shows that inspires me is Big Dreams, Small Spaces with Monty Donn. I highly recommend it. I also like Gardener's World with Monty. You're probably noting a pattern here. British gardening programs with Monty Donn, but the Brits have a love of gardening that goes beyond most Americans. I have much in common with them. As my garden grows, I will share images. For now, I'm sharing spring pics from other parts of the garden.

"If you've never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant a garden." ~Robert Brault,

For more on my work, visit my Amazon Author Page. Proceeds from book sales go toward my memorial garden.


  1. You are an absolute rockstar, Beth! I've no doubt the garden will be everything you envision, and I can't wait to see how it comes along! <3

  2. Looks like a big endeavor, but I'm sure it will be beautiful when you've completed it...and for such a wonderful remembrance of loved one.

  3. I envy people who can grow things--flowers, vegetables, even grass. Everything I plant dies usually from neglect. I can never remember to water the poor things until I notice they're drooping and turning brown. And that green you see in my lawn is nothing but weeds, but at least it's green. I love the photos you post.

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  5. I'm sure it will be beautiful!

  6. I’m glad that working in your garden is helping to ease your grief Beth. I’m so very sorry for your losses. ��


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